October 2015 Newsletter

 

TheShadowProject

Young Writer Chronicles Reading Efforts

Student-Mia

People think reading is easy. For some people, reading is hard. So says, Mia Hayes, 10, a fourth grader at Stephenson Elementary in The Shadow Project, who recently chronicled her struggles with reading, due to ADHD and anxiety.

“It’s okay if people think you are weird,” writes Mia in an inspiring book she wrote and read out loud last school year, Differences, to help others with learning challenges. “It’s okay, because you are special for who you are. I have had problems, and I know how you feel. But people change. Your problem could get solved just like that!

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Goal Setting a Focus of Shadow Seminar

PaulaFahey

One highlight for special education teachers at The Shadow Project’s recent professional development seminar was hearing from longtime Portland Public Schools’ educator Paula Fahey, M.S., on ways to easily incorporate goal setting into their curriculums.

“I was already using incentives to boost academics, but The Shadow Project is different,” said Paula, who began using the program when she was at Markham Elementary in early 2000. “I like the formality of sitting down with the children one day each month to set goals, and then to reward them for achieving their goals.”

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Gift of Audio Books Honors Late Sister

CourtsKidsLogo

Courtney Bunfill was an aspiring special education teacher in Klamath Falls, when she died unexpectedly in September 2009. In honor of their sister’s passion and energy for children, Courtney’s three siblings—led by Portlander Kiki Grant—founded Court’s Kids to help children in special education classrooms receive new reading materials.

Kiki read The Shadow Project’s late August newsletter with a story about Rosa Parks’ Isaac, who is now hooked on reading thanks to audio books, and emailed right away. “The Shadow Project is doing wonderful things, and I saw a way we could help,” said Kiki, who persuaded her siblings to donate nearly $4,700 to The Shadow Project.

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Five-Star Rating for Boy Book

BookCoverThe Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Heron Press, 2014) was recently chosen for a written review and KART book rating on the organization’s website. Boy, written by The Shadow Project’s Executive Director and Founder Christy Scattarella, M.A., received a five-star rating.

“This exciting, real-life story of a boy’s brave journey of determination is sure to interest and inspire any child who experiences difficulty with reading,” says the website. “The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is also a good book for siblings and classmates of reading-challenged children as it graphically describes what it’s like to overcome obstacles when learning to read and to spell.”

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Five-Star Rating for Boy Book

Five-Star Rating for Boy Book

The Boy Who Learned Upside Down (Heron Press, 2014) was recently chosen for a written review and KART book rating on the organization’s website. Boy, written by The Shadow Project’s Executive Director and Founder Christy Scattarella, M.A., received a five-star rating.

“This exciting, real-life story of a boy’s brave journey of determination is sure to interest and inspire any child who experiences difficulty with reading,” says the website. “The Boy Who Learned Upside Down is also a good book for siblings and classmates of reading-challenged children as it graphically describes what it’s like to overcome obstacles when learning to read and to spell.”

A five-star rating by KART (http://www.kartdbn.com) means Boy “may appeal to 70 to 95 percent of the general audience, and contains qualities that attract a high broad interest,” according to the website.

The book, illustrated by Winky Wheeler, is written for children ages 5 to 9.

To order Boy, please go to http://www.shadow-project.org/category/newsroom/boy-who-learned-upside-down/

Goal Setting a Focus of Shadow Seminar

Goal Setting a Focus of Shadow Seminar

One highlight for special education teachers at The Shadow Project’s recent professional development seminar was hearing from longtime Portland Public Schools’ educator Paula Fahey, M.S., on ways to easily incorporate goal setting into their curriculums.

“I was already using incentives to boost academics, but The Shadow Project is different,” said Paula, who began using the program when she was at Markham Elementary in early 2000. “I like the formality of sitting down with the children one day each month to set goals, and then to reward them for achieving their goals.”

The children in Paula’s classroom set personalized monthly goals with The Shadow Project’s goal setting kit. Goals include teeth brushing, reading out loud to their parents, or making flashcards to improve math. Paula checks in with the children three times a week to ensure they are working toward their goals, and provides “Shadow Bucks” that can be traded later for literacy supplies.

At the end of every month, Paula checks to see if the children have met their goals. Those who have met or exceeded their goal receive hot cocoa or hot apple cider to drink … while they work on setting a new goal.

“I like seeing the kids grow,” said Paula. “The Shadow Project helps provide children in special education with the belief that they can achieve!”

Click here to watch Paula’s 14-minute video on goal setting.

Gift of Audio Books Honors Late Sister

Gift of Audio Books Honors Late Sister

Courtney Bunfill was an aspiring special education teacher in Klamath Falls, when she died unexpectedly in September 2009. In honor of their sister’s passion and energy for children, Courtney’s three siblings—led by Portlander Kiki Grant—founded Court’s Kids to help children in special education classrooms receive new reading materials.

Kiki read The Shadow Project’s late August newsletter with a story about Rosa Parks’ Isaac, who is now hooked on reading thanks to audio books, and emailed right away. “The Shadow Project is doing wonderful things, and I saw a way we could help,” said Kiki, who persuaded her siblings to donate nearly $4,700 to The Shadow Project. 

Thanks to Court’s Kids, 10 Portland-area schools this academic year will receive a 12-month subscription to Learning Ally, to support their students on IEPs (Individualized Education Programs that provide specialized instruction for children with disabilities) and 504s (plans for children with disabilities to receive educational accommodations), as well as training for teachers to access the audio library. Each school will also receive a signed copy of The Boy Who Learned Upside Down, written by Shadow Project Founder and Executive Director Christy Scattarella, M.A., to inspire courage.

“Courtney was just finishing up her credentials to become a special education teacher,” said Kiki. “I think she would have liked the mission of The Shadow Project and we are pleased to be able to donate our funds to an organization that would have had meaning for her.”

 

 

Give!Guide 2015

People think reading is easy. For some people, reading is hard.

So says, Mia Hays, 10, a fourth grader at Stephenson Elementary in The Shadow Project, who recently chronicled her struggles with reading, due to ADHD and anxiety.

“It’s okay if people think you are weird,” writes Mia in an inspiring book she wrote and read out loud last school year, Differences, to help others with learning challenges. “It’s okay, because you are special for who you are.

“I have had problems, and I know how you feel,” Mia writes. “But people change. Your problem could get solved just like that!

“Everyone has problems,” writes Mia in Differences. “I have ADHD and anxiety. That means that sometimes reading is extra hard for me. The words don’t sit still on the page. Sometimes my stomach gets nervous and I don’t want to try things. But it usually works out, and I am okay after all.

“I have learned that if you try and try, and don’t give up, that many problems go away.”

Mia said she wrote a book about differences because she was having a tough time in school. “I felt like other people have hard times, too, and that maybe I should tell them about me, to help them know others have problems.”

Mia admits she was worried when she wrote her book and was asked to share it with the class. “The writing was easy, but I was afraid to read out loud,” said Mia, who also enjoys drawing, math, and soccer. “I was nervous to read my book to the class because I thought they might laugh at me because I think it’s hard to read and they think it’s so easy. But I decided to give it a chance.”

Her classmates didn’t laugh. They clapped. Her teacher cried. And best friends Olivia and Emma gave Mia a big hug. “I felt so good,” said Mia. “I feel like now people get me. They’ll think of me like a person, not like a person who makes mistakes and has problems.”

“After I try, try, try, I get it,” she said. “People need to know that with a little effort and courage, you can do it.”

Click here to watch a film snippet of Mia reading the introduction to her book.